Rating: 12 Cast: Rafferty Law, Sophie Simnett, Rita Ora, Franz Drameh, Michael Caine and Lena Headey Directed by Martin Owen Written by John Wrathall and Sally Collett Length: 90mins
Martin Owen combines a contemporary setting with classic characters in his most recent release, Twist. Based on the personalities created by Charles Dickens in his famous novel, Owen looks to bring a fresh burst of life to the story of Oliver Twist. Whilst considered a ‘modern take’ on the well loved classic, all that really flows from the original are the character names and similarities in the day to day habits of London criminal gangs…
Twist was advertised as a fast-paced heist movie and with the well known names of Michael Caine and Lena Headey involved, I was pretty excited for this film. It has the components to be brilliant, fusing nostalgia from the classic Oliver Twist with a modern outlook and setting. Unfortunately, it just doesn’t hit the mark. The plot is severely lacking; it’s quite an average heist plan that’s without proper consideration or motivation that is broken up by random little character ‘moments’ that don’t serve the story.
While there are some nice moments in the film, the performances aren’t particularly strong. Headey and Caine are fine, they do a solid job with what they were given, Rafferty Law (son of Jude Law) was quite flat throughout who likely didn’t give his best performance due to the thinness of the material. Sophie Simnett who plays Red (AKA Nancy) is the standout. She gives the strongest performance and helps the audience to stick with the plot that is only 90 minutes long but at times feels like it’s dragging. It feels a bit harsh to critique the actors in this film as the material is just so dull, and the casting was a bizarre mix; again, probably due to the peculiarity of the script requirements. It feels like they weren’t fully committed to a direction for this film so panicked and threw a bit of everything in there.
Visually this film is quite nice. They love a good free running montage but if you don’t mind that, the film makers were quite creative with how they shot a lot of the film and generally it looks nice. Unfortunately though, Twist is a film that knows exactly what it wants to be, but hasn’t a clue how to get there. It’s one of those frustrating movies that everyone knows could have been excellent, but didn’t fulfil expectations. It’s an okay watch if you just want to pop something short on in the background, but it’s certainly nothing groundbreaking.